City seeks Swiss-style trade deal for EU access

The City of London is working up plans to secure a deal that will allow its different sectors to keep trading with Europe after Britain leaves the EU.

It is understood representatives from the UK’s financial sector will next month attend a meeting of the cabinet committee for Brexit, led by the prime minister, to present their initial policy ideas.

The City will seek a deal similar to the one struck by Switzerland, effectively abandoning hopes of the full access to the EU single market enjoyed by Norway, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The report suggests City officials believes it would be too difficult – both politically and practically - to secure a Norway-style deal. Norway has access to the single market and therefore must accept the free movement of people, but because it is not a member of the EU, it does not have a say in how the rules are set.

In Switzerland, some sectors including life insurance have full two-way access to the single market in “passporting” deals that require sectors to impose regulations at the same level as the EU.

The Swiss banking sector does not have such a deal, and therefore much of its EU business is channelled through London subsidiaries.

The City is hoping to use to the Swiss model but improve on it according to the FT.

Anthony Browne, chief executive of the British Bankers’ Association, told the newspaper: “There needs to be a bilateral deal providing as full two-way market access as possible.

“Both sides have an interest in making this work, as it is not in the interests of the other EU countries to be cut off from their main financial centre, especially at a time they are all seeking to boost economic growth.”

Powered by article was written by Angela Monaghan, for on Friday 19th August 2016 08.26 Europe/ © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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